New York City is one of the most famous cities on Earth, a vibrant and exciting destination for work, travel, and so much more. The city is home to over eight million people and draws in tens of millions more from all over the world, with countless visitors eager to make the most of their time and see all the sights like the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and Times Square.
However, as any frequent visitor or New York City local will know, getting around the Big Apple isn't always easy. In such a busy and hectic place, accidents are frighteningly common, with data showing that thousands of accidents happen every single month and many people get injured or lose their lives unnecessarily due to recklessness or negligence on the roads.
So, if you're planning a trip to New York or live there already and want to stay safe as you get around from place to place, here are some smart tips to keep in mind.
Just Don't Drive
If you really want to reduce the risks of being involved in a car accident in New York City, one of the best tips you can follow is to simply not drive at all. It's very much possible to get around in NYC without the aid of a car, and the vast majority of the city's residents don't own cars at all, relying on public transport and other options to get around.
The Big Apple famously boasts one of the most extensive subway systems on the planet, and once you learn the various maps and routes, it's quite easy to get wherever you want to go this way. You can also take buses, rely on the city's world-renowned cab network, or make use of modern-day rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft.
If you do insist on driving around New York City and want to do so safely, try to plan your trips ahead of time. This is especially true if you're making quite a long journey from one side of the city to the other. Traffic can build up really quickly in New York and drivers can be quite impatient out on the roads, leading to lots of high pressure situations.
You don't want to panic or stress out, and it can help a lot to know exactly where you're going. By planning your route ahead of time and choosing the right time to drive too, you can help yourself stay safe, avoiding the worst of the traffic and knowing the right roads to follow and the correct turns to make.
Make Use of a GPS
Following from the previous point about planning your route ahead of time, it also massively helps to have a GPS. New York City famously has a grid-based layout of streets, each one numbered and marked according to its direction and place in the city. When you know this system, it can be really useful for helping you get around and situate yourself.
However, if you're a first-timer in New York, the city's streets can all seem the same, and choosing the exact right one for your destination can feel so difficult. Having a GPS can therefore save you a lot of time and stress, and you can even download simple GPS apps onto your phone for ease-of-use. Just be sure to program them before you set off, rather than fiddling around with your device while driving.
As stated just above, using your phone while driving is not a good idea, especially in New York City. The streets can be so busy that even a single second of inattention can be enough to put you in a terrible situation. To reduce your risks of having to get in touch with a car accident lawyer and start building a case, make sure to avoid using your phone whenever you're driving.
Distracted driving leads to a lot of accidents, injuries, and fatalities every single year, and phones are one of the worst causes of this. If you need to make a call or send a message, be sure to pull over safely before you do so or simply wait until you get to your destination. Trying to use your phone while driving simply isn't worth the risk.
Trying to stay calm while driving along the streets of a city like New York can sometimes feel impossible. There are tall buildings all around, sirens of police cars and ambulances rushing through the streets, cars absolutely everywhere, countless pedestrians on the sidewalks, and plenty of angry drivers honking their horns too.
However, in spite of all these distractions, it really is wise to try and keep your calm as you get around. Road rage is a real problem in New York, and drivers can quickly lose their tempers, which can lead to some very violent situations that nobody would want to be a part of. Even if someone is driving badly around you, try to keep calm and stay focused on controlling your own car to stay safe.
Keep Your Distance and Use Your Mirrors
A lot of auto accidents in New York are caused by people failing to check their mirrors, use their signals, or keep the recommended distance away from other vehicles. If you take a look at the average city street in the Big Apple, you'll notice that a lot of the cars tend to be packed right up close to one another, but you should try to avoid falling into this same trap when you drive.
If you're too close to other vehicles, you'll be much more likely to collide with them if someone suddenly brakes due to a traffic light or pedestrian. It's also always recommended to make use of signals and mirrors to alert other drivers to your intentions and make sure you can see clearly all around your car before changing lanes or making turns.
Driving in New York City can be quite stressful and intimidating, especially for those who aren't used to it. These tips should help you stay safer, so be sure to keep them in mind on your next visit to the Big Apple.